Sweet plantains. Mmm… I’m full of yummy Caribbean food. I’m on vacation in Florida where I lived when I was first diagnosed with my food allergies.
One of the biggest differences between Seattle and Orlando is the amount of business chains. Seattle had very few, and mostly small local chains. Orlando is filled with chains– probably to keep things familiar for tourists. While local restaurants have a lot of advantages, chains can be great for people with food allergies, because once you’ve figured out what you can eat at a chain, you can eat it anywhere. Seattle has a great variety of food choices, and while there are far more allergy friendly options, it’s a lot harder to chose a restaurant with confidence that there will be a safe option. Each new location requires research and questioning.
While I’m here in Florida, there are a handful of favourite restaurants I’m planning on eating at. These menu items are all dairy free and nut free, though not made in a dedicated kitchen, so plan accordingly.
— Carrabbas. I adore their sausage and lentil soup, Italian bread, and spaghetti. The pizza is wonderful if ordered without cheese.
— Pollo Tropical. Lots of safe options here. I don’t trust the breads, but I’ve never had any reactions to any of their meats. The only questionable sides are the mashed potatoes and corn, oh, and the new cheesy yucca bites. My personal favourite are the plantains. They’re nearly impossible to get in Seattle, though I was told about two places to get them outside of town. And if you’re here, don’t forget to swing by the salsa bar. The quava BBQ sauce is amazing. I met friends here tonight and they had never been before. They didn’t know what they were missing.
–Sonny’s BBQ and Smokey Bones BBQ. The meat is a great option, and baked sweet potatoes without butter are safe. I haven’t been back to these places on this trip so I don’t remember the other sides. Most veggies are safe if served without butter. BBQ is regional, but I really like the way Florida does it.
— Pei Wei– this cafe by the owners of P.F. Changs is wonderful. I always get the mandarin kung pao with brown rice. The lettuce rolls and edamame are tasty too. You really can’t go wrong here, though there are dishes with nuts, and the kung poa contains peanuts. I can’t wait to get my mouth on this food!
So it’s a week of fun, sun, and food I can’t find at home. I hope I can still squeeze into my clothes by the time I leave 😉
I’m participating in NaBloWriMo this month and blogging every day in October. Like Vanessa Brannan on facebook to see all of my posts.